Novel quantification of regional fossil fuel CO2 reductions during COVID-19 lockdowns using atmospheric oxygen measurements

Pickers, Penelope A., Manning, Andrew C., Quéré, Corinne Le, Forster, Grant L., Luijkx, Ingrid T., Gerbig, Christoph, Fleming, Leigh S. and Sturges, William T. (2022) Novel quantification of regional fossil fuel CO2 reductions during COVID-19 lockdowns using atmospheric oxygen measurements. Science Advances, 8 (16). ISSN 2375-2548

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Abstract

It is not currently possible to quantify regional-scale fossil fuel carbon dioxide (ffCO2) emissions with high accuracy in near real time. Existing atmospheric methods for separating ffCO2 from large natural carbon dioxide variations are constrained by sampling limitations, so that estimates of regional changes in ffCO2 emissions, such as those occurring in response to coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) lockdowns, rely on indirect activity data. We present a method for quantifying regional signals of ffCO2 based on continuous atmospheric measurements of oxygen and carbon dioxide combined into the tracer "atmospheric potential oxygen"(APO). We detect and quantify ffCO2 reductions during 2020-2021 caused by the two U.K. COVID-19 lockdowns individually using APO data from Weybourne Atmospheric Observatory in the United Kingdom and a machine learning algorithm. Our APO-based assessment has near-real-time potential and provides high-frequency information that is in good agreement with the spread of ffCO2 emissions reductions from three independent lower-frequency U.K. estimates.

Item Type: Article
Additional Information: Funding: Atmospheric O2 and CO2 measurements at WAO were funded by the U.K. Natural Environment Research Council (NERC) grants NE/F005733/1, NE/I013342/1, NE/I02934X/1, QUEST010005, NE/N016238/1, NE/S004521/1, and NE/R011532/1. The WAO atmospheric O2 and CO2 measurements have also been supported by the U.K. National Centre for Atmospheric Science (NCAS) from first December 2013 onward. P.A.P. was supported by a U.K. NERC PhD studentship (NE/K500896/1) from 2012 to 2016. A.C.M. and P.A.P. have received support from the CHE project, funded by the European Union’s Horizon 2020 Research and Innovation Programme under grant agreement no. 776186. C.L.Q. received funding from the Royal Society (grant no. RP\R1\191063). I.T.L. received funding from Netherlands Organisation for Scientific Research (016.Veni.171.095 and SH-312-15). P.A.P., A.C.M., and G.L.F. received funding from the NERC project DARE-UK (NE/S004211/1). L.S.F. is supported by an NERC PhD studentship (NE/L002582/1).
Uncontrolled Keywords: general ,/dk/atira/pure/subjectarea/asjc/1000
Faculty \ School: Faculty of Science > School of Environmental Sciences
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Depositing User: LivePure Connector
Date Deposited: 09 May 2022 15:30
Last Modified: 10 May 2022 00:41
URI: https://ueaeprints.uea.ac.uk/id/eprint/84969
DOI: 10.1126/sciadv.abl9250

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